- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday defended Uber against Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to restrict the number of licensed vehicles the company can have on the road.

“You can’t restrict trade,” Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, said on the “Capitol Pressroom” radio show, The New York Post reported.

The New York City Council is planning to limit Uber’s growth in Manhattan until it can complete a traffic congestion study, which officials said would take until April 2016.

“Wouldn’t that just cause Uber franchises to go to Nassau and Westchester and Suffolk to set up there and drive into the city?” Mr. Cuomo asked.

“I believe this is getting more complicated, not less complicated,” he said. “If you try to restrict travel among counties, that’s going to be a problem. If you try to say that Manhattan cars can’t travel in Nassau or Nassau cars can’t travel in Manhattan then that’s my problem.”

The governor indicated that he plans to go around Mr. de Blasio and meet with Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito about the issue, The Post reported.

In response, mayoral spokesman Wiley Norvell issued the following statement:

“The Governor is mistaken. Only vehicles licensed by New York City’s TLC (Taxi & Limousine Commission) can pick and drop off a passenger for a ride within the city. Licensed for-hire vehicles from Nassau and Westchester can only either drop off or pick up a rider in New York City as part of a trip outside the city. The issues here are serious for our city — protecting workers and passengers, fair service for people with disabilities, supporting public transit, addressing rising congestion. No one should be manufacturing pretexts for avoiding those pressing issues.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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